- Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities 1997
- B.A., University of Minnesota, 1992
Phosphatases are enzymes that are involved in the cell signal transduction process. When information is not properly conveyed in the cell, problems in the generation of signals necessary for different cellular events such as growth, migration, metabolism, gene transcription, cell-cell communication, ion channel activity, immune response and apoptosis/survival decisions occur. When these events are not controlled, cancer and other disease states such as diabetes occur. Recent studies have assessed the role of LMW PTPs in cell transformation (conversion to cancerous cells). In theses studies, it was shown that the expression of LWM PTP mRNA and protein is significantly increased in human breast, colon, bladder and kidney tumor samples. Moreover, its enhanced expression was generally prognostic of a more aggressive cancer. It has been suggested that LMW PTP may contribute to cancer invasivity (attacking adjacent tissues) by stabilizing cell-cell contacts. Inhibitors of LMW PTP hence may possess potential anti-cancer properties. The goal of my group is to design new inhibitors for LMW-PTP using in silico molecular modeling, synthesize these molecules and test them in a biological assay. This work is done in collaboration with Dr. Henry Jakubowski.